Designing Public Spaces and Constructing Public Spheres: A Manifesto

  • Enrico CicalòEmail author
Part of the Urban and Landscape Perspectives book series (URBANLAND, volume 14)


Public space design may enable new perspectives to be opened up in our times to reinforce the public dimension of the contemporary city. Designing public spaces and constructing public spheres are the horizons that the actors responsible for transforming the city must aim for, be they designers, institutes or private citizens. Public sphere development may effectively be favoured by ­project-based action, though to link these two concepts is an operation neither simple nor straightforward as it is particularly open to misleading doubts and false interpretations, which we will try to throw light on in the following paragraphs. [This article summarises the research carried out by the author on the theme of urban public space, already illustrated more extensively and in depth in the book: Cicalò E (2009) Spazi pubblici. Progettare la dimensione pubblica della città contemporanea. FrancoAngeli, Milan.]


Public space Public sphere Urban design Representation Public opinion Public life 


  1. Arendt H (1958) The human condition. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  2. Augé M (2007) Tra i confini. Città, luoghi, integrazioni. Bruno Mondadori, MilanGoogle Scholar
  3. Bauman Z (2005a) Fiducia e paura nella città. Bruno Mondadori, MilanGoogle Scholar
  4. Bauman Z (2005b) Vite di scarto. Laterza, Rome-BariGoogle Scholar
  5. Bobbio N (1995) Stato, governo, società. Frammenti di un dizionario politico. Einaudi, TurinGoogle Scholar
  6. Bobbio N (2004) Destra e sinistra. Ragioni e significati di una distinzione politica. Donzelli, RomeGoogle Scholar
  7. Castells M (2009) Comunicazione e potere. Università Bocconi, MilanGoogle Scholar
  8. Cicalò E (2009) Spazi pubblici. Progettare la dimensione pubblica della città contemporanea. FrancoAngeli, MilanGoogle Scholar
  9. Crawford M (1995) Contesting the public realm: struggles over public space in Los Angeles. J Archit Educ 49(1):4–9Google Scholar
  10. de Solà-Morales M (2007) Changing definitions of public and private. In: Architectural positions seminars on architecture, modernity and the public sphere. The 2007 Delft lecture series.
  11. de Solà-Morales Rubió I (1995) Terrain vague. In: Davidson CC (ed) Anyplace. MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  12. Deutsche R (1996) Evictions. Art and spatial politics. MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  13. Espuelas F (2004) Il vuoto. Riflessioni sullo spazio in architettura. Marinotti, MilanGoogle Scholar
  14. Fraser N (1990) Rethinking the public sphere. In: Calhoun C (ed) Habermas and the public sphere. MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  15. Hajer M, Reijndorp A (2001) In search of new public domain. Nai Publishers, RotterdamGoogle Scholar
  16. Harvey D (2006) The political economy of public space. In: Low S, Smith N (eds) The politics of public space. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  17. Iveson K (1998) Putting the public back into public space. Urban Policy Res 16(1):21–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lofland L (1989) The morality of urban public life: the emergence and continuation of a debate. Places 6(1):18–23Google Scholar
  19. Maciocco G (2008) Fundamental trends in city development. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  20. Madanipour A (2003) Public and private spaces of the city. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  21. Madanipour A (2004) Marginal public spaces in European cities. J Urban Des 9(3):267–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Marston S (2000) The social construction of scale. Prog Hum Geogr 21:219–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Martinotti G (1999) A city for whom? Transients and public life in the second-generation metropolis. In: Beauregard R, Body-Gendrot S (eds) The urban moment. Sage, LondonGoogle Scholar
  24. Robbins B (1993) Introduction: the public as phantom. In: Robbins B (ed) The phantom public sphere. University of Minnesota Press, MinneapolisGoogle Scholar
  25. Watson S (2006) City publics, the (dis)enchantments of urban encounters. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Architecture, Design and PlanningUniversity of SassariAlgheroItaly

Personalised recommendations